53 promised, bad or good, he would feel a little puzzled, won- dering why he had been so concerned; for the weather of that day, or of any day, had no bearing on the expectation that had prompted him to leap up. Though the expectation never came to focus now, as in the mornings of hiž childhood when he would remember, sud- denly, that it was Saturday or Christmas, it filled him, even during the absorbing activities of the day, with an energy that drove him through the execution of his duties, as though every small obligation fulfilled would bring him that much nearer to the unnamed object of his excitement. And the energy seemed boundless. Even when, sitting with May at home at night, he would lean back in the chair and be silent, it was not because he was tired. He was never tired now. His nerves would be alive, and if he was silent, it was because his mind was, at those moments, like an eye unseeing but straining forward into the dark. " You look tired, Perse," his wife would say. "I'm not tired." "Perse, I wish you wouldn't work so hard," she would urge him. "You're wearing yourself out." " No," he would answer shortly, but in a tone more patient than irritated. " I wish you wouldn't, Perse; you look tired." "No, May." " Other men don't work that hard," she would insist "It'll be over soon." She might come to sit in his lap then, and lean her head against his shoulder. He would put his arm around her waist and spread his fingers on her small, rounded hip, his thumb aware of the upper edge of her hip bone beneath the flesh, the bone in its fragility like a valuable bowl, or cup, wrapped to prevent damage. "Soon?" she would ask. "Yes." "I never see you much, any more," she would say. " You're so busy, you're away so much, Perse."